If you have a day job and want to go self-employed, how do you make the transition from being employed to leaving and going full time into your own business?
This can be such a difficult one to answer but affects so many trying to juggle the security of a day job and the desire to run their own business.
On a personal level, I decided to make the jump and left my career to start my own business as I was in the position to fund the business myself for the first few years. Yes, I admit, over the years when things have been tough, I’ve wondered whether I made the right decision. But 99.9% of the time, I am happy I made the jump. It took me a good few years to become financially viable enough to draw a full-time wage but this was offset in the early days of being my own boss, choosing my working hours and where I worked from.
But you don’t have to make the jump as drastically as I did. This will depend upon your current career and what business you are planning to set up, but many clients I have worked with have decided to go self-employed and start their business in their spare time and then moved to working part-time in employment whilst building the business. It takes time but can work better financially if you have some steady income still coming in.
Why do you want to go self-employed?
One key thing that can help you decide is to think carefully about ‘WHY’ you want to go self-employed and start your own business.
If you don’t know what your ‘WHY’ is start by making a list of reasons you want to start your own business.
Common reasons are:
- To have a flexible lifestyle that puts you in control of your life
- Better work life/balance
- More time with family and friends
- You choose when and where you work
- You are passionate about your product and service and know how much it can help others
- To be paid on the effort you put in – you take all the profit yourself
- To remove stress, frustration, and unhappiness in your current job
It can also be useful to list the reasons ‘WHY’ you want to leave your current career. Again, common reasons are:
By writing these things down it can help you get clear on why you really want to go self-employed and give you the motivation to take that first step.
There isn’t a perfect answer and it will be different for everyone, but here are a few ideas to help get you towards making that first step to go self-employed.
Give yourself a deadline to go self-employed
Firstly, set yourself a deadline of when you want to leave your employment and make that jump into self-employment. If you don’t, the security blanket of a monthly wage may just hold you back from ever making the leap.
Give long term notice
If it is possible, give your employer long term notice. Let them know you are wanting to set up on your own but don’t want to let them down and they may just be understanding (as long as you’re not going into competition with them). It’s a win for you as you now have your deadline and need to build your own business to sustain you by the time you leave and it’s a win for them as they have longer to find a suitable replacement and get them trained up.
Go part time
If possible go part-time. No, it’s not always possible and your employer may not be too keen if they get wind you are setting up something of your own, but if you don’t ask you don’t get!
Take up temporary work
Make the decision to leave your employment but line up some temporary work for 6 months somewhere else to help the finances whilst you get off the ground. Look for maternity cover positions which would be an ideal timescale for this option.
If you can save up enough to cover your outgoings for six to 12 months, this will help provide that much needed financial buffer that you need. Having 6 months of savings and also getting systems in place so your time can be spent finding clients and not getting it ‘off the ground’ will be worth its weight in gold.
Cash in on savings
Do you have any savings pots, pension funds, long-hidden premium bonds etc that you are willing to cash in to support your business financially in the early days? If you do and you are not prepared to cash them in, I have to ask the question how committed are you to your business and do you really believe in it. Harsh yes, but when I hear women say they need that money in case the business fails, they are already admitting defeat.
Take a holiday
This is a holiday in the loosest sense of the word. What I mean is take a holiday but work your butt off to see how many clients you can get during this time. Book appointments in advance if you are in the service sector. See how much money you make. Try to get these clients to book repeat sessions and to recommend you. This ‘holiday’ may just make you realise what you could do if you took the leap of faith and went for it.
Take the leap of faith
Yes, you have to be brave for this one but sometimes you simply have to do it. It will be a sink or swim situation but there is nothing like not having that security of employment to get you focused to bring the money in,
Get support when you have decided to finally go self-employed
If you need any help or support in taking that first step, or in setting up your business, get in touch now. Email me at email@example.com, let me know what you are planning and I’ll send you something to help.